As an official Committee of Arlington's Vision 2020 Task Group, the Spy Pond Committee is charged with addressing and helping to solve the problems and challenges faced by Spy Pond. The group has been active since 1994. The goals of the Committee are simple - make Spy Pond a better and healthier place for people and wildlife.
In detail, the goals for the Pond fall into four catagories and were adopted by Town Meeting in 1998. They are:
Water Quality and Control
To reduce the effects of urban runoff to control pollution, weeds, and algae, and to reduce shoreline erosion, in an ecologically sensitive manner.
Public Use and Access
To maintain and improve existing public access, and review the possibilities for enhancing public access and recreation, while ensuring respect for private property.
Flora and Fauna
To promote a healthy diversity of plants and wildlife.
To create public awareness and focus the attention of government on the natural, economic, and cultural values of Spy Pond. Since its inception, the Committee has worked hard to identify and address important issues and reach its goals. From conducting general educational activities during Town Day to working with various departments of the State government on larger projects, the Committee is proud to be a part of a multi-party effort to help the Pond.
The following is a partial list of Committee activities and accomplishments:
Recent projects have included participation in pond festivals like the "Spy Pond Splash"; efforts have led to the introduction of kayaking programs through the Recreation Dept; pond monitoring has mapped invasive plant threats as well as the protection of a threatened locally rare sedge. The Committee has worked with Appalachian Mountain Club volunteers to restore and improve the pond's south edge; and we have worked to control the geese population which also loves the pond!
Informing the Community about Spy Pond Issues:
The Spy Pond Committee works hard to communicate important information about the Pond. To date, the Committee has
- Advocated for the pond before residents, directly and via hand-outs and a presence at the annual Arlington Town Day
- Distributed door-to-door handouts in the watershed (Arlington AND Belmont) discussing pond problems and simple steps to take to reduce pollution in the pond
- Obtained article coverage of issues in the Arlington Advocate and Boston Globe
- Drafted and inserted "Goals for Spy Pond" into Town Meeting warrant (cosponsored by Conservation Commission and Parks & Recreation Commission)
Achieving High Level of Public Participation
The Spy Pond Committee has a strong focus on greater community involvement. Over 200 individuals have participated in Spy Pond Committee sponsored activities and events. From volunteers, to elected officials, to Conservation Commission members, the Spy Pond Committee has brought people together to help the Pond.
- Sponsoring and Organizing Special Events
- From large one-time events to small ongoing activities, the Spy Pond Committee is proud of the range of events it brings to the community and the Pond. Over the years the Committee has sponsored:
- Bird and Nature Walks
- Spy Pond Cleanup Day
- Storm Drain Marking
- Water Quality Marking
- Weed Mapping
- Wildlife Census Tracking
Working with the Town, the State, and others
On numerous issues the Committee works not only with volunteers but also with local and state organizations to help improve the Pond. From participating in the first in-depth study of the pond to urging the Selectmen to request MassHighway Department assistance to remediate sand deposits created by Rt. 2 run-off, the Committee is always looking for ways to involve government in its activities and to help government agencies out as well.
We welcome new volunteers, new members, new project ideas and input. Contact co-chairs Jacob Friis or Steve Ricci contact info above.